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Oak Ridge Forum on Science and Religion, August 25

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The next meeting of the Oak Ridge Forum on Religion and Science is scheduled for Thursday, August 25th, 2005, 11:00 a.m., in the Undercroft of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church at 212 North Tulane Avenue, Oak Ridge ...




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At 11:00 am a social session will begin, followed by a buffet lunch at 11:30 am catered by the Soup Kitchen, and then by the following event:

A panel discussion centered on the topic "The Last Gap - Life from a Test Tube?" is planned.

The panel will consist of Drs C. E. Klots, Bruce Jacobson, Mitch Doktycz, Larry Dipboye and Carolyn Dipboye.

The concept of Irreducible Complexity as proposed by Michael Behe* will be examined in the light of modern research in molecular biology together with recent progress in characterizing and mimicking biological systems at the molecular and cellular level. The theological and ethical implications of the proposition that "life is bound to arise under the prevailing conditions, and it will arise similarly wherever and whenever the same conditions obtain**" will be discussed.

*"Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution".
**Christian de Duve's "Vital Dust: The Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth". Also relevant is Paul Davies' "The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life"

The following was published in Science and Theology News of Feb 05. In December, Scientists at the Rockefeller University in NY created a barebones cell. The "vesicle bioreactor" is not alive, researchers stressed, but stretches the boundary of what life is. By mixing together cell walls from egg protein, a virial enzyme for translating DNA and some internal cell machinery from E. coli, the assembled vesicle began reading genes and making proteins. By injecting the jellyfish gene for fluorescent coloring, head researcher Albert Libchaber got the vesicle to glow green. "For me, life is just like a machine - a machine with a computer program. There‚s no more to it than that. But not everyone shares my point of view" Libchaber told BBC news. The results appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


Dr C. E. Klots received his PhD in Physical Chemistry from Harvard. He is a member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.

Dr Bruce Jacobson was a Senior Scientist in the Biology Division and the Life Sciences Division at ORNL for 40 years until his retirement in 1998. He investigated 1) the mechanisms of enzyme action, 2) biochemical genetics in Drosophila and the mouse, 3) the role of transfer RNA in protein synthesis and 4) new ways to measure the sequence of DNA. One of his collaborations with Life Sciences included imaging DNA with the scanning tunneling microscope. Another collaboration in the same division focused on the use of microcantilevers to examine enzyme action and the reaction of antigens with antibodies. During his last five years at ORNL he served as Deputy Director of the Center for Biotechnology. Recently he gave a course in ORICL on the Adaptability of the Human Genome.

Dr. Mitchel J. Doktycz is a Senior Research Staff Member and Program Leader for Biomedical Technology Programs at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research interests focus on the development and application of analytical technologies for genomics and biomonitoring. Additionally, his research focuses on nanobiotechnologies, particularly the interfacing and mimicking of biomolecular structures. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1991.

Dr. Larry Dipboye is pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Oak Ridge. He is a graduate of Baylor University (Waco, Texas) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, with a Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. While serving as a pastor in Louisville, prior to coming to Oak Ridge, he was an adjunct professor of theology at Southern Seminary and served on the clergy panel of the "Moral Side of the News" with WHAS-TV. Larry and Carolyn have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Dr Carolyn Dipboye is a pastor of Grace Covenant Church. She is a graduate of Mercer University (Macon, GA) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY (M.Div., Ph.D.). She has taught courses in religion and ethics, serving as an adjunct member of the faculties of Southern Seminary and Bellarmine, Carson-Newman and Tennessee Wesleyan colleges. She has published articles in the area of ethics and biblical studies and is the author of Women of Faith. She is a frequent instructor with ORICL.


Spouses and friends are cordially invited. We will appreciate your sending the names and e-addresses of those who might be interested in attending.

The cost of lunch and incidentals for this event is $8.00 per person. We ask that you notify us by e-mail to rritchie16@comcast.net by Wednesday, August 24th, with the number in your party. Alternatively a phone call to 483-8998 with this information will be appreciated.

We are experimenting with a new feature for our website at www.oakridgefrs.net; we will publish drafts of articles where the authors would appreciate comments.

Sam Hurst
R. H. Ritchie



Posted by pking
Aug. 18, 2005